Posted by on Jan 12, 2015

Part of the fun of having two Labs is watching the unique relationship that develops between them. Maddie and Milo are 9 ½ years apart, so their relationship swings from playmates to roommates to “big sibling, little sibling” and all that each of those roles entail.

Just two buddies hanging out on the stairs.

Just two buddies hanging out on the stairs.

Their antics and attitudes make me laugh, make my heart melt and sometimes make me roll my eyes. And I am always envisioning stories inspired by their relationship. So, recently I decided to explore the possibility of developing a children’s book inspired by the relationship that has evolved since the day Milo joined the family.

Character Studies of Maddie

Character Studies of Maddie

Although the characters for a book would be inspired by my real Labs, the illustrations I’m envisioning will need to have a look and feel that is independent of my living, breathing real-life dogs. To begin the development of these characters, I have done some loose character studies from head shots of the dogs. But, the most interesting thing I’ve started is the sculpting of Maddie and Milo characters.

Maddie's first sculpture!

Maddie’s first sculpture!

I have used head shots of both Maddie and Milo as the reference for the sculptures and have used Sculpey clay as my medium. The whole project is truly in its infancy stage. At this point I am having fun “meeting” the characters as I work through the project rather than micro managing exactly how they will look in the end. Even in their rough states, I can tilt the heads and position one head looking at the other to begin to feel the relationship between the two characters. I have also made an initial body for the Milo character. I am envisioning the Labs will have some anthropomorphic qualities to allow them to do some human activities, so his body at this point is not true to a real Lab.

Milo's first sculpture!

Milo’s first sculpture!

When I’m happy with the look of the sculptures, I will do character studies using the sculptures as the reference rather than photos of the real Labs. I’m excited to see where the project goes and I’ll post more about it along the way. In the meantime, I thought I’d share some photos showing how the project is going so far.

Starting to feel out some character studies.

Starting to feel out some character studies.